Visitors at Saugus Historical Society learn about the life and work of the late Carmine Moschella from his daughter
Carla Moschella, daughter of the late Carmine Moschella, presented a program about the life and work of her late father to a full house at 30 Main St. for the Saugus Historical Society’s May meeting. All available chairs were used for the crowd of people who turned up to hear the story of a man who contributed so many hand-carved items of furniture to the town and also endowed fine woodworking skills to many citizens of the town, young and old, for many decades. Almost everyone in town knew of him either because they were students when he taught shop at the high school, or because they attended some of his renowned chair caning and furniture refinishing classes as part of the adult education program at the school. One piece readily recognized by most people in town is the honor roll beside Town Hall, listing the names of Saugus soldiers in World War I. Among his other projects were the display cases inside the hall, the selectmen’s desks and the sign that for so long stood outside the high school before the recent building.
Carmine Moschella grew up in Revere but moved his young family to Saugus. He learned his craft working at a high-end furniture company, the Joseph Gerte Furniture Company. Furniture from this company featured fine mahogany and frequently used the complex grain patterns of burlwood. The furniture included decorative details and stains that highlighted the wood grain. He made most of the furniture in his family’s home.
He earned two master’s degrees from Salem State College and taught at Saugus High School for 37 years beginning in 1956, where he served as Industrial Arts Coordinator from 1969 to 1971 and Vice Principal from 1971 to his retirement. After his retirement in 1993, he served on the Saugus School Committee and was made chairman in his second term. He was a Town Meeting member for 20 years. He was a Saugus Senior Center Board of Directors member for 25 years and Saugus Lions Club member for 55 years. In 2004, he was Man of the Year. Moschella’s legacy lives on in the many fine pieces in and around public buildings, and in the memories and skills of those who took his classes.